Miner Rio Tinto announces £670m investment in water supply project

Rio Tinto has announced a $1.30bn (£670m) investment in a new 2,500 litre per sector seawater desalination facility to supply water to Escondida mine in Chile, in which Rio Tinto has a 30 per cent interest (release).

The project will provide a sustainable supply of water for the new OGP1 copper concentrator approved in February 2012, while minimising Escondida's reliance on the region's aquifers.


The project will include two pipelines, four high pressure pump stations, a reservoir at the mine site and high voltage infrastructure to support the system.

The project's construction will begin in July 2013, with a scheduled completion of 2017 and will be funded through cash flows from Escondida.